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Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve: a glimpse into the past

An authentic Dominican corner

Located in the district of San Cristobal, the Indigenous Eye Ecological Reserve is one of the most authentic corners of the Dominican Republic, with an extraordinary natural beauty ideal for families and ecotourism lovers. If you want to truly disconnect, grab your backpack and get ready to get to know one of Punta Cana's greatest secrets.

This reserve was created in 1987, when the entire territory was ceded to the Puntacana Ecological Foundation. Its objective is to protect and conserve biodiversity, as well as scientific research and sustainable development of the region. Although it is open to tourism, access is restricted to preserve the natural beauty of the environment.

A wide variety of ecosystems can be found inside, such as mountain forests, lagoons and wetlands. The flora is composed of more than 500 species, of which a third are endemic plants of the Dominican Republic, including medicinal plants. In terms of fauna, the reserve is home to jaguars, pumas, red foxes, white-tailed deer, iguanas and hicoteas (freshwater turtles), as well as birds, other reptiles and amphibians. Some of these animals are in danger of extinction, another reason why the park was created and is preserved intact.

The beauty of the place makes it a natural spectacle that offers an unforgettable experience. A tourist attraction where you can find hiking trails, bird watching, boat rides on some of the lagoons and a farm. There is also an interpretation center where you can learn more about the vegetation and fauna that inhabit the reserve, as well as the cultural legacy of the first inhabitants of this area.

The indigenous legacy

The name Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve was not chosen at random. There is evidence that the first inhabitants of the Dominican Republic were in this area, and in its interior there are 12 lagoons (ojos) that have been formed as the Yauya River has bored through the land and supplies water to these areas, where you can enjoy a relaxing bath in the Caribbean sun.

The mark of the Taino people is also preserved in the names of the lagoons, since most of them have been named using words from their language, in order to preserve the memory of the first inhabitants of this site.

The reserve is perfect for hiking, walking through about 3 kilometers of tropical forest and feel the sensation that there is still something of the legacy left by the Indians in their wake.

In addition to visiting the lagoons and the different areas to observe the fauna and vegetation of this paradise, the interpretation center is another attraction of the reserve. Here you can learn about the indigenous legacy, biodiversity and sustainable practices in areas such as agriculture and organic beekeeping.

Schedule of this federal reserve

If you are organizing your excursions and want to include a visit to this spectacular reserve, the opening hours are from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, although entry is only allowed until 4:30 pm.

Can anyone who is not staying at the hotel enter?

The entrance to the ecological reserve is open to all visitors, both those staying in the hotels next to it, as well as those who plan to visit it from anywhere in Punta Cana. However, ticket prices vary depending on whether the person is staying at the hotel or visiting from outside.

In addition, it is important to remember that since it is a protected area, access is limited in order to preserve biodiversity and the ecosystem. Therefore, make sure that you can visit the park on the day you want, and book in advance if possible so that you will not have problems when entering.

Recommendations and tips for visiting the indigenous eyes ecological reserve

To enjoy the adventure to the fullest, it is important that you take into account some practical recommendations:

  • Make sure what are the existing rules in the reserve, such as areas where access is prohibited, guidelines for wildlife observation, do not leave any waste along the way and follow the established routes.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sneakers to be as comfortable as possible. If you plan to swim or do any aquatic activity, do not forget to bring shoes that can get wet, bathing clothes and a towel.
  • Be careful with the sun. Being in a tropical zone, the reserve is in an area exposed to strong radiation. Be sure to bring a hat to cover your head and sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays.
  • Bring food and water. Keep in mind that the reserve does not have establishments to eat or buy drinks, so you need to bring your supplies to hydrate and replenish your strength. Be sure to bring it in biodegradable containers and bags, and do not leave anything on the ground. Conserving the ecosystem is fundamental.
  • Beware of insects. As is logical, a good part of the fauna in this reserve are insects, and some of them can cause you discomfort. To avoid this, carry repellent and apply it properly.
  • Take an active role in the conservation of the reserve. Do everything possible to collaborate in the protection of biodiversity, following the rules and taking care of the environment.

How to get to the indigenous eyes Ecological Reserve?

The ecological reserve is just 10 minutes from downtown Punta Cana, going down Boulevard del Mar until you reach the area. If you are coming from Cap Cana you can walk there, but it is a complicated road. In the map below you can see the location of the reserve and the location from various points.

With our transportation service you can get close and enjoy the wonderful views and the charm of this reserve, ideal for families, nature photography lovers and ecotourism enthusiasts in general.

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